Restaurant Workers as Independent Contractors

An Atlanta-area restaurant company incorrectly classified restaurant workers as independent contractors to avoid paying overtime. The company also required tipped employees to perform cleaning tasks off the clock, failing to record or pay for all time worked. The employer also made illegal deductions from tipped employees’ pay to account for incorrect orders and customer walkouts. These improper deductions brought the hourly wages below the federal minimum wage.

The restaurant enterprise will pay $411,010 in back wages to 157 employees at locations in Doraville and Duluth, Georgia, for violating minimum wage and overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

  1. Misclassified Independent Contractors.

La Abuela LLC in Doraville, and La Abuela IV LLC in Duluth – incorrectly classified employees as independent contractors, leading to numerous violations. The restaurant operator violated FLSA overtime requirements by paying straight-time rates for all the hours employees worked, failing to pay overtime when they worked more than 40 hours in a workweek.

If you are supervised like other restaurant workers at the same location, chances are you are not an independent contractor. You are instead an employee entitled to overtime under the FLSA. For More: Independent Contractors.

Working Jobs at Two Restaurants.

The employer also failed to combine hours employees worked between multiple locations owned by the same business in a single workweek when determining whether overtime was due. Working at two restaurants for the same owner means that the hours at both restaurants are added together to determine when more than 40 hours is worked and when overtime is owed to the worker.

 Working Off the Clock.

Additional violations resulted from the employer’s practice of requiring tipped employees to perform cleaning tasks off the clock, failing to record or pay for that time.

Illegal Deductions and Minimum Wage.

The employer also made illegal deductions from tipped employees’ pay to account for incorrect orders and customer walkouts.  These deductions caused the employees’ hourly wages to fall below the federal minimum wage. In addition, the employer violated FLSA record-keeping requirements when it failed to record all the hours employees worked, deductions it made from employees’ pay, and the amounts of cash tips claimed by tipped employees.

PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS.

Employees who are owed overtime can collect (1) back wages for all “Hours Worked” and any unpaid overtime, plus (2) liquidated damages in an additional amount of the same back wages and overtime, and (3) attorney’s fees and costs.

The Ken S. Nugent, P.C. Overtime and Unpaid Wages team of attorneys can help you determine whether you are entitled to overtime pay.  Our team covers the entire state of Georgia. We have eight Georgia offices ready to protect workers in not only large cities but also small towns and rural areas who are being cheated on their earned overtime.  We have an office with overtime attorneys near you: Albany, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Duluth, Macon, Savannah, and Valdosta.  To reach one of our overtime team of attorneys, please contact us at 1-888-579-1790 or leave us your information and questions at our Overtime and Lost Wages website practice page.

 

 

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